Home » Archive by categoryFamous Clowns (Page 2)

Bill “Boom-Boom” Baily (1917 – 1990)

Bill "Boom-Boom" Baily
Bill began clowning while still in high school. For over seven years he appeared in his tramp character on the Sealtest Big Top and Mark’s Magic Midwest television shows, broadcast by local stations in New Jersey. He appeared on live television programs on CBS, NBC, and ABC including...
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Earl Chaney – Mr. Clown

Earl Chaney - Mr. Clown
Earl Chaney (March 6, 1945 – ) Earl Chaney – Mr. Clown – has been making children of all ages laugh for over twenty years. He perfected his clowning talent in Clown College.  Earl Chaney went on to become one of the best-loved clown characters with the Ringling...
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Giovanni Zoppé – “Nino”

Nino Zoppé with child
Sixth-generation circus performer Giovanni Zoppé has nothing against the modern lions-and-tigers-and-bears spectacle of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, or the Vegas-style slickness of Cirque du Soleil. He just doesn’t think high-concept shows like those capture the essence of the circus. “If somebody came to see our...
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Frank “Slivers” Oakley

Frank "Slivers" Oakley in his baseball skit
Frank Oakley, aka. Slivers, 1871-1916 Frank Oakley, also known as Slivers (1871–1916) was the most popular circus clown of his generation. Born in Sweden, both of Oakley’s parents were concert singers. At the age of 14 he began to practice as a contortionist and at 16 he joined...
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Curly Robbins

Curly Robbins
W.D. Robbins – Curly Robbins – 1928 – 2002 Curly Robbins began his clown career in 1959. He volunteered to be a clown at a underprivileged children’s Christmas party and found he had a passion for it. In 1962, a booking agent for Clyde Beatty – Cole Bros...
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Bill Irwin

Bill Irwin - International Clown Hall of Fame 1999 Inductee
Bill Irwin graduated from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1974, and the next year he became an original cast member of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus. He continued his work with the Pickle Family Circus until 1979 when he left to pursue his own...
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Barry Lubin – Grandma

Barry Lubin as Grandma
Biography of Barry Lubin – “Grandma” (July 3, 1952 – ) A member of the 1974 class of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he performed for 5 years with the Greatest Show on Earth. He also performed at the prestigious International Circus Festival of Monte...
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Footit and Chocolat

George Footit (1864-1921) was a British equestrian, acrobat and clown who was brought into his profession at the young age of twelve. He was known for his solo performances as an acrobat and equestrian with Sanger’s Circus in England. Raphael “Chocolat” Padilla (-1917) was born in Cuba and...
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Charlie Rivel

Charlie Rivel, 1967, performing his act
Josep Andreu i Lasserre (April 23, 1896 – July 26, 1983), best known as Charlie Rivel, was an internationally known Spanish circus clown. He was born in Cubelles (Barcelona, Spain). His parents Pere Andreu Pausas (Spanish) and Marie-Louise Lasarre (French) were circus artists as well. Charlie Rivel was Europe’s most famous and popular clown....
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Joe Jackson Sr (1873-1942)

Joe Jackson Sr.
Joe Jackson Sr. was born as Joseph Francis Jiranek in Vienna, Austria. He was Austrian bicycle champion, and a member of a world champion bicycle polo team before he became an entertainer. He started with a serious bike riding act, and then developed it into a comedy break-...
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